Larval development and identification of the genus Triglops (Scorpaeniformes: Cottidae)

Author(s): 
Blood, Deborah M., and Ann C. Matarese
Abstract: 
Prior to Pietsch’s (1993) revision of the genus Triglops, identification of their larvae was difficult; six species cooccur in the eastern North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea and three co-occur in the western North Atlantic Ocean. We examined larvae from collections of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Atlantic Reference Centre and used updated meristic data, pigment patterns, and morphological characters to identify larvae of Triglops forficatus, T. macellus, T. murrayi, T. nybelini, T. pingeli, and T. scepticus; larvae of T. metopias, T. dorothy, T. jordani, and T. xenostethus have yet to be identified and are thus not included in this paper. Larval Triglops are characterized by a high myomere count (42–54), heavy dorsolateral pigmentation on the gut, and a pointed snout. Among species co-occurring in the eastern North Pacific Ocean, T. forficatus, T. macellus, and T. pingeli larvae are distinguished from each other by meristic counts and presence or absence of a series of postanal ventral melanophores. Triglops scepticus is differentiated from other eastern North Pacific Ocean larvae by having 0–3 postanal ventral melanophores, a large eye, and a large body depth. Among species co-occurring in the western North Atlantic Ocean, T. murrayi and T. pingeli larvae are distinguished from each other by meristic counts (vertebrae, dorsal-fin rays, and anal-fin rays once formed), number of postanal ventral melanophores, and first appearance and size of head spines. Triglops nybelini is distinguished from T. murrayi and T. pingeli by a large eye, pigment on the lateral line and dorsal midline in flexion larvae, and a greater number of dorsal-fin rays and pectoral-fin rays once formed.
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Cover date: 
2010
No. of pages: 
43

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